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The University of Ulster has launched a new partnership with the local medical research industry that will place Northern Ireland at the forefront of research into Stratified Medicine.

Established at the university’s £11.5m NI Centre for Stratified Medicine at Altnagelvin Hospital, the new industry liaison committee includes representatives of international healthcare companies based in Northern Ireland which have strong research capability.

The committee will help to shape the relevance of research and collaborations undertaken by the centre, as well as contribute to the development of new courses delivered by the University of Ulster on stratified medicine

Also known as personalised medicine, stratified medicine examines how genes, lifestyle and environment can influence disease. It has the potential to revolutionise healthcare practices on a global scale with the development of technologies and systems to predict disease, select the best treatment and reduce side effects for individual patients.

Commenting at the launch of the partnership today, Director of the Centre for Stratified Medicine at the University of Ulster, Professor Tony Bjourson said:

“As well as providing high quality local graduates equipped to join this sector, the University of Ulster is playing a vital role in ensuring that Northern Ireland is at the forefront of life enhancing research.

“Working alongside the industry liaison committee will allow the university and its Centre for Stratified Medicine to truly enhance health provision and realise the full economic benefits, particularly in terms of our ability to attract inward investment in this sector.

“With key players in the industry helping to drive our research agenda, the University of Ulster will be able to ensure that any discoveries move rapidly to commercialisation and to clinical use, here and internationally.”

Chris Roche from Aridhia Informatics, one of the key partners involved in the committee said:

“The establishment of an industry liaison committee by the University of Ulster is a welcome and important step. Stratified Medicine is an area of increasing importance and holds huge potential for developing new diagnostic and treatment pathways. It is a welcome opportunity to help advise and be a part of a new and innovative undergraduate and postgraduate degree programme.”

“Industry has a vital role to play in terms of innovation and knowledge transfer so we are delighted to have this opportunity to formalise our work with the NI Centre for Stratified Medicine. This will allow industry to advise on areas that we believe could make the greatest contribution to patient health across the globe.”